Losing Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers undoubtedly hurt a lot of people in the NFL Playoff Challenge. The knee-jerk reaction for most will likely be to put Tom Brady into the empty slot. But with the upsets we saw last week and the caliber of defenses still remaining, would you give any consideration to Alex Smith or Joe Flacco?
Remember the scene in the original Star Wars? You know, the one where the Death Star blew up Alderaan? Yeah, well, that's about the status of my Fantasy Playoff Challenge team after the Saints' loss to the Niners. So with Brees out of the mix, I have to pick a new quarterback -- but it won't be Flacco or Smith. Instead, I'm going with Tom Brady. Yes, it's the obvious choice out of the four quarterbacks still on the board. But I need points, and I need them fast. A lot of other owners are going to be starting from scratch at the position as well (tons of people started Brees or Aaron Rodgers), and it's a pretty easy prediction that Brady will be the replacement in most leagues. I'm likely not going to catch up to the leaders, so I'm going to at least make a run at scoring the most point possible the rest of the postseason.
I think you still have to go with Tom Brady. You play the best player at each position at this point. Not to mention, the Ravens' defense might be good, but T.J. Yates left some good plays out on the field last Sunday. Tom Brady won't do that this weekend at Gillette. Brady doesn't miss those throws. Gillette, oh by the way, is his home field. That's also why I like him over Eli Manning, who has to face that Niners defense in San Francisco. Of course, my selection of Drew Brees has me chasing everyone in the Playoff Challenge right now, so I'm not so sure Brady can save my team's butt at this point.
Do you mean would I give consideration to Smith or Flacco if I already hadn't taken Eli Manning to start with and thus will be earning triple points in the NFC Championship Game? (Sorry, I'm going to enjoy it while I can.) Flacco certainly has a great matchup against the Patriots' pass defense. And Smith did show something as he rallied the 49ers against the Saints. But even then, I would only start those guys if you're convinced the 49ers and Ravens are going to the Super Bowl. Otherwise I'd opt for Eli or Tom Brady.
- Jason SmithNFL.com
Mr. Smith could go to Indy
I'm going to go by the same philosophy as last week. If you lost your QB this past round, picking up Brady or Eli won't help you catch whoever's in front of you, because for every touchdown they give you, they'll be onto double or triple points for whoever's had them from the last couple of rounds. It's about winning, and the only way for you to catch up (or stay ahead) is to take a chance on either Smith or Flacco making it to the Super Bowl, knocking out Brady and/or Eli. Of the two, I think Alex Smith has the better chance of making it to Indianapolis. I don't like what I've seen from the Ravens' defense so far in getting carved up by Arian Foster, and I think Brady has another big day Sunday against them. T.J. Yates was able to move the ball before throwing interceptions. I can't believe I'm saying this, but your salvation might lie in Alex Smith.
I have no interest in a good showing -- I want to win. No question those who opted for Patriots (damn you, Jason Smith) are living large. My Foster, Brees and Graham picks paid off in the first two rounds, but Ryan Grant and Jordy Nelson left me in a deep hole. That means I have to go against the masses and opt out of any Patriots picks. I'll go With Eli Manning as my QB because only the clairvoyant Adam Rank had the Giants as a viable playoff option.
We were among the legions who cursed our choices aloud when Drew Brees and the Saints were eliminated from the playoffs and, more importantly, our Playoff Challenge rosters. After watching a pair of upsets over the weekend, it's understandable if you feel a might skittish and make an outside the box choice of Flacco or Smith. But after you finish hyperventilating, it's clear that 50 million Brady fans can't be wrong. He's the most productive of the QBs remaining, and though there are no sure things in the postseason, we're more confident in the Patriots moving on than we are about either the 49ers or the Giants.